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LINCOLN'S Ellsworth Letter 







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Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

State of Indiana through the Indiana State Library 



http://www.archive.org/details/lincolnsellsw3139linc 




ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

(Meserve No. 35) 



LINCOLN'S 

Ellsworth Letter 



Privately Printed 

NEW YORK 

1916 



Foreword. 

ON May 24th, 1 861 , a month and a half 
after Sumter surrendered and nearly two 
months before the first battle of Bull Run, Pres^ 
ident Lincoln's friend, Colonel Ephraim Elmer 
Ellsworth was shot in Alexandria, Virginia, by 
Jackson, the proprietor of the Marshall House, 
after the impetuous young man had tom down 
a confederate flag from the top of the building. 
His body was taken to the White House and 
lay in state in the East Room. He was the first 
officer killed in the War of the Rebellion. The 
President on the following day wrote a letter of 
sympathy to the sorrowing father and mother. 

Ellsworth was a New York boy. At the 
age of twenty-two he was Adjutant-General of 
the State of Illinois. In 1859 he studied law 
in Lincoln's office in Springfield. He organized 
in Chicago the military company known as 
Ellsworth's Zouaves, and in I860 toured the 
country holding competitive drills with various 
military organizations. When Lincoln came to 
Washington Ellsworth accompanied him, and 
in April in New York he organized and, although 
but twenty-four, became the Colonel of the I 1 th 



New York Infantry, known as the Fire Zouaves, 
as the regiment was recruited principally from 
the Fire Department of New York City. 

This beautiful tribute is perhaps the most 
touching of all the letters written by Lincoln. 
He was writing of a man whom he knew and 
loved. The letter does not reach the lofty tone 
of that to Mrs. Bixby of Boston, or the Gettys- 
burg address, but in the choice of fitting words 
to stricken parents regarding a son and personal 
friend, few letters have ever been written that 
may compare with it. 

By the courtesy of Mr. Judd Stewart, in 
whose notable collection of Lincolniana is the 
original letter, a fac-simile is shovm here. 

The photograph of Lincoln is printed di- 
rectly from a negative, believed to be the origi- 
nal, made by C. S. German, in Springfield, 
Illinois, early in I 86 1 , just before the President- 
elect went to Washington. That of Ellsworth 
is printed directly from the original negative 
made by M. B. Brady, probably during the time 
when the Fire Zouaves were being organized. 

F. H. M. 

New York, February 15,1916. 



The Letter. 



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E. £LMER ELLSWORTH 

Col. IlthN.Y. Infantry 



THE QUILL CLUB 

OF NEW YORK 

1915-1916 

President 
CHARLES L. GOODELL 

Vice-President 
FREDERICK HILL MESERVE 

Treasurer 
EDWIN COLES DUSENBURY 

Secretary 
CHARLES PROSPERO FAGNANI 

Assistant Secretary 
THOMAS J. HARRIS 

The Executive Committee 

THE OFFICERS AND 

RUFUS P. JOHNSTON 

ALFRED R. KIMBALL 

REUBEN LESLIE MAYNARD 

CHARLES P. TINKER 



Two hundred and fifty copies are 
printed for The Quill Club of New 
York upon the occasion of its Lin- 
coln Meeting, February 1 5th, 1916. 



7/. XOO^.OS'i. 0-513^ 



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